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Author Topic: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests  (Read 4791 times)

DrumWagon

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Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« on: March 03, 2010, 11:29:40 pm »

I'm currently nose-down and working on a cross-platform editor for Z4-based Zendrums.  If you have any requests, please let me know.

Currently planned features are:
  • Multi-platform support.  The editor will work equally well in Windows, MacOS and Linux environments.
  • Support for customized Zendrums -- up to 30 triggers in any configuration and 3 CCs.
  • Ability to specify non-sequential note numbers when using the cross-fade feature.
  • Ability to graphically see and tweak your personalized calibration.
  • Support for ZX, Laptop, Zap and Zap^2, basically anything that contains a 4.x board.

The editor is not planned to be backwards compatible with 3.x boards at this time, but portions of it could be depending on demand.

There is no firm release date for this application, but I expect it to be finalized in either the second or third quarter this year.  Early beta releases will probably be available as it nears completion.

Thanks in advance for your input!

oh, also it needs a cool name!  I've toyed with "Zazen" because of its relationship to Zen but it really doesn't have the right "ring" to it.  For the moment I'm just referring to the project as "ZenEdit".  Any ideas for a better name?

cheers!
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Pyrate

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Re: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2010, 03:32:59 am »

Avast Thar Matey,

     How about calling is Zenex.  Or does that sound too much like Xanax.  Playing a Zendrum and taking an anti-anxiety drug have the same effect it seems to me.  But then again for anti-anxiety I prefer a bottle Captain Morgan.

Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Pyrate
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Zendrumdude

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Re: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2010, 08:35:25 am »

Call it iZen.

That was a joke.  ;)

I will be sending a wishlist along later... this is something I have been thinking about for a long time and I want to spend some time getting it all down.  This will be a dream come true, man... you rock!

Jer
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THUMPER

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Re: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2010, 09:23:47 am »

WOW!  Thank you . What you are doing will be a help to many Zendrummers. I think the crossfade is one of the least used parameters and I would use it more when this GUI comes out. I think that the ability to see the sensitivity graph would also help in many instances. Keep up the good work Thumper
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Pyrate

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Re: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2010, 09:46:38 am »

Avast Thar Mateys,

      You could call it the Zendrum Open Operating Monitor or ZOOM for short.  Just another suggestion from the Olde Pyrate.

Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Pyrate
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Re: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2010, 09:58:53 am »

While we are wishing to be able to change the 4-Note Velocity Switch Points might be a good feature to have in the new GUI Thumper
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Re: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2010, 12:30:01 pm »

To our friend DrumWagon,

Great News !!! Thank you for stepping up with this. This is the final frontier for us. I cannot wait for this to happen. Make sure you leave your address so we can send you some money for your efforts. It will be worth every penny for sure.

Mark
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huez2000

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Re: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2010, 10:04:18 am »

I'll be preparing a short list this week to post. including the desire for an alpha display for note number entry alongside numeric.

The GUI/editor for the Zen series is going to be tremendous. I'm happy to hear it's in the works.
Cross platform is an obvious must.
Although the integration of USB on the Zen models is not a reality at the moment this GUI design app could very well be a step in the right direction.

Requests and thoughts coming soon from the trenches.

Best,
Huston
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Zendrumdude

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Re: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2010, 10:34:37 am »

I am so glad we're discussing this again, and I will echo someone else's post from earlier: I will happily make a donation when this becomes a reality, and I hope my ZenBros and ZenSises will do the same!  I am recommending some pretty serious changes in functionality, and I don't know if it's within the scope of the current GUI development, but one can always hope...

Wishes for melodic use:
1) Selectable note length (duration before note off) selectable per channel (so we can sustain the piano channel only, etc.)
2) Transposition per channel, +/- one octave (-12 to +12 semitones) for keyboard-style transposition, per channel
3) Sequential note chain (program a number of notes, then each hit of that pad triggers the next note in that sequence).  Maybe selectable from 2-16 notes?
4) More setup notemaps!!!
5) Banks for setups: melodic bank, percussion bank, etc.


MAJOR CROSSFADE OVERHAUL:

-When selecting a trigger's send parameters, you'd choose a channel and a note number, just like it is now.
-Each trigger would, by default, have one channel and note assigned.
-In the GUI, each trigger would have a drop-down menu with a number of additional "slots."  Again, assign number and channel for each slot you want active.
-In addition, each slot would have a third and fourth parameter (in addition to channel and note number): Vel Min and Vel Max.  This is where you'd set up custom crossfades.  By default, they'd be 0-127.  But, each "slot" for each pad would be separately controlled.  This way we'd get the ability to do several separate things with velocity, all within the addition of this velocity functionality:

1) Selectable crossfade points
2) Layerable crossfades
3) Sound stacking (not necessarily crossfaded)
4) Selectable number of notes to be crossfaded or stacked (dependent on number of slots)
5) Nonlinear crossfade note numbers

I would also recommend that if the Vel Min is set HIGHER than Vel Max, you'd get a "split", with the selected note number active across the whole velocity spectrum EXCEPT between the values.  For example, 2 sounds are selected..  For Sound 1, Vel Min set to 100, Vel Max set to 40.  For Sound 2, Vel Min set to 41, Vel Max set to 99.  In this example, the notes played at velocities 0-40 would be Sound 1, 41-99 Sound 2, 100-127 Sound 1.  Make sense?  Just an idea for more flexibility.

I hope this makes sense, but if it needs clarification, let's chat!  This is a LONG-term dream for me!

Jer
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DrumWagon

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Re: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2010, 02:41:18 pm »

Jeremy, some great ideas there, but these are more for the "blue sky" thread as they fall under the purview of the hardware and machine programming folks.  While my application will make editing your Zendrums' configuration easier, it cannot alter the basic machine code or add non-existent features.

The editor that I'm working on is at its heart a sysex manipulator, much like the Mokugyo app that was available for the 3.x boards.  Mokugyo only went as far as exposing the note numbers though, whereas this new editor goes much deeper.

The sysex memory images for the 4.0 boards weigh in at around 8Kb -- much larger than the 3.x.  That's roughly 8000 unique memory addresses each of which (for the most part) hold a single setting's value.  So there are for instance 30x16 addresses that hold the note numbers, and another set that hold the channel numbers, etc.  When you tally up all the "known" addresses there's still a substantial block of memory that is unaccounted for for.  There's no telling what gems are hidden in there as it's pretty clear, and David has hinted as much on this forum, that the machine programmer went well beyond the initial feature spec.  I suspect that the settings for these extra features lurk within the unmapped areas of the sysex image and are undocumented simply because the simple physical interface of the Zendrum cannot expose them.  A PC based editor of course can bridge these limitations.

The first of these "hidden" features that I've discovered is the ability to define exactly which 4 notes are used for the crossfade feature.  Not earth-shattering for those people using VSTs exclusively, but for the module folks, that'll be huge.  And I hope to uncover other such treasures!

Here is a sneak peek at the interface that's under development.  Not shown here are the 'selected trigger edit pane' nor the various view modes.  For each trigger (and in each user setup) you'll be able to control the label/information that is shown.  Whether it be the canonical names (as shown) or the midi note number, note name, GM map name, GM icon, module specific name or a completely custom identifier.



Annotations will play a big part in the final app.  You'll be able to name and annotate pretty much everything.  Each user setup can be given a name and descriptive text, groups of triggers can be colored (and moved around for custom rigs).  You can even customize the color and wood grain for the body.  Once you've got things setup the way you like, you can then print or export the data.  You can also transfer the data from one Zendrum to another, share your setups with friends, etc.

I'll share more information as it develops.  

tnx
-darin
« Last Edit: March 08, 2010, 06:29:13 pm by DrumWagon »
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Zendrumdude

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Re: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2010, 05:41:14 pm »

Darin,

Thanks for clarification.  Yeah, I cut-n-pasted my ideas from the Blue Sky thread!

Still dying to get my hands on a GUI editor; keep up the good work!  One comment on the screenshot you posted: I noticed the "Center" pads are labeled C1-C4, and the "Custom" pads are labeled C1-C6.  To prevent confusion, maybe the custom ones could be labeled X1-X6 for "eXtra."  (I do realize that you state they can be user-named.)

I think we should call it the Zeditor.

Thanks man!!!

Jer
« Last Edit: March 08, 2010, 05:50:23 pm by zendrumdude »
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DrumWagon

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Re: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2010, 06:22:48 pm »

I noticed the "Center" pads are labeled C1-C4, and the "Custom" pads are labeled C1-C6.  

Good catch ;)  tnx!
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Pyrate

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Re: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2010, 06:29:50 am »

Avast Thar Matey,

       I like the idea that you can move pads around and color code them for custom setups.  Will you be able to add pads (I noticed you only have 4 custom ne: "X" pads)?  Also, will you be able to move individual pads, or just pad groups?

Fair Winds and Following Seas,
Pyrate
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DrumWagon

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Re: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2010, 11:09:09 am »

Those 6 triggers floating in the upper-right (the bone yard) represent the custom triggers. 

Up on the toolbar you can change the current "mode".  If you change it to "move mode" (that second icon) then you can drag around individual triggers.

HTH
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THUMPER

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Re: Z4 GUI Wishlist, Now Taking Requests
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2010, 02:12:08 pm »

Can the extra trigger icons be either small or large to match what we have put on our Zendrums. Just a thought Thumper
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